A virtual event is an event that is held online. It can be a live stream that is publicly available, an invite-only webinar, an informal social media gathering, or an online conference where you will need a paid pass to join. There are many platforms for hosting virtual events, such as Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse, and others where the business can connect with the target audience through voice or live video calls.
Hosting virtual events has become very popular in recent years. It is cheap because you don’t have to rent space. You are not restricted by geographical boundaries, which means you can connect with a global audience. Hosting online events is also easy, safe, and efficient if you have selected the best platform for hosting them.
There are many benefits of hosting virtual events, which is why they have become very popular now. You will find many companies hosting virtual events on the internet, including trade shows, graphic designer’s conferences, buyer-seller meets, and even product launches.
Here are some tips for hosting virtual events efficiently.
Phase 1: Best Practices for Planning Your Online Conference or Webinar
1. Decide the Type of Event You Are Planning to Host
While planning the live event, it is always a good idea to have a clear idea of what your goals are. You should decide on the type of virtual conference or event depending on your business objective. It can be an online workshop, online university fair, a virtual mall, a virtual conference, music concert, art exhibition, or a summit where you launch a new product/service or meet your dealers and customers.
You can earn money by hosting paid online events. But that should never be your main objective. It should rather depend on your business goals. For example, you can make it free and invite many attendees to generate leads, and then make a larger number of sales later on.
2. Choose the Right Platform for Your Virtual Event
Hosting virtual events on zoom is a popular option. There are many other online meeting platforms as well. When selecting the platform, make sure that it supports the goals and vision of your brand. Ask the following questions and find their answers and you will be able to select the right virtual event platform for your requirements.
- The type of session you want
- Available reporting metrics during and after the event
- The available engagement tools
- How much customer support is available
- What are the available accessibility features
3. Set a Realistic Timeline
Start planning for the event early because there is a lot of work to be done. You should ideally start 2-3 months before the actual date. Book the speakers as early as you can. Finalize your vendors and suppliers. You need a realistic timeline even if you are going to have the event online.
4. Bring in the Best Presenters
Make sure you get a fantastic speaker and you will be able to make your live event a success. Carry out some research to locate people in your niche who are known for their good presentations. The person you choose should have good authority and expertise. Many people are very good at their subject but have poor presentation skills. So, consider this aspect as well. Your attendees should want to listen to the expert.
5. Run a Promotions Plan
You will certainly need to promote the event to ensure that it gets the eyeballs and generates interest. Tap every channel for this, including social media, email marketing, advertorials, postings in trade journals and magazines, YouTube videos, and billboards, depending on your budget and audience demographics. You can also open a landing page for a specific event. Marketing is essential for both offline and virtual events.
Phase 2: Best Practices for a Smooth Execution on the Day of Your Event
6. Prepare Your Support
So, you have planned your online conference, webinar, or event efficiently. That’s a good start. What happens on the day of the event is, of course, extremely important. In physical events, you will see many volunteer teams and staff to ensure that it runs smoothly. You may want something similar even for your virtual event.
You will certainly require a tech support team that will help you with the technology and solve any trouble. You may also want a video production team, including a videographer. The tech support team can also include people who will moderate the chat rooms to ensure that no attendee can turn abusive.
7. Manage the Quality of Content
Content will play an important role in all types of online events. The content can include videos, presentations, or documents. It will be the voice of your brand, so ensure that it is of the best quality.
8. Make Your Event as Accessible as Possible
Make it easy for everyone to attend the event and you will get good participation. Selecting the right virtual meeting platform can make a difference here.
9. Highlight Your Sponsors
Make sure your host highlights the sponsors of your event. They will surely want to be recognized. You may even plan to include a short presentation about the business of your sponsor.
10. Measure Success
Was your event a success? Could your event connect with the audience? You will certainly want feedback, which will help you evaluate. Plan to send a post-event survey to the sponsors, presenters, and attendees to receive honest feedback. Go through the responses and you will know where you succeeded and where you need to improve.
Online event management can be challenging. But you can make it a success if you select a good virtual conference platform, event management software, and plan it well.